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About 4hdds

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  1. I've just about finalized my configuration of a Lenovo Thinkpad T530 laptop, to serve as a playmate for my Toshiba Satellite A505-S6965 unit (bought in August 2009). I'm watching the price go up and down in an unpredictable manner, every few days. I'm not familiar with the pricing trend of laptops throughout the year, specifically the holiday seasons starting after Thanksgiving and extending past XMAS. Can I get some advice from those of you who have been in the pc business for many years, as to whether I should wait for the holidays for a drop in price, or buy now? Keep in mind that I'm registered on the Barnes and Noble Gold website for discounted pricing, and that my Toshiba laptop is working flawlessly. I'm in no rush to buy now, even though the current price is $858.09. Per a Lenovo sales rep., the T530 was released in June 2012, and no replacement model will be released until next summer. This event will prevent prices from dropping, based on the need to sell old stock to make room for new stock. Therefore, prices should follow the business model of supply and demand. I created a screen capture from the page of my configuration, and attached it to this post. Please click on the thumbnail image, to properly view the configuration. I added a few missing items from the configuration..... > 720p HD Camera with Microphone > Keyboard Backlit > Express Card Slot & 4-in-1 Card Reader & Bezel > 90W AC Adapter (2-pin) What are your thoughts on this laptop for the price of $858.09? Thank you all.
  2. I'm a real chump. I knew that the drive doesn't stop spinning when the shock sensor detects motion, yet I stated that it does in a few of my posts. I've always known that the drive keeps spinning and that the heads go to the park position. But I can see why I made such a mistake. The 3D Animation box shows the drive spinning and the head assembly swaying to the inside and outside of the platter under normal operating conditions. But when I agitate the laptop to see it's affect on the animation, the drive stops spinning and the heads park at the outside. This image of this impossible scenario must have been imbedded into my brain. I should call Toshiba and tell them that their animation is misleading. Anyway, I thank you Lamb0, for bringing the error to my attention. However, I question your statement that continued vigorous vibration will eventually stop the drive from spinning. If this is a safety feature built into Toshiba laptops, I've never heard of it. I do recall that one feature of a profile in the Power Options applet is to have the drive turn off after a specified period of idle time.
  3. I received a reply to a post I submitted on the Toshiba Forum. The poster stated the following, "Even if you disable the hard drive notifications, the hard drive protection is still working to prevent the hard drive from crashing. If the sensor feels that the computer is being dropped, it will automatically home the hard drive to prevent the heads from crashing into the spinning disks." Since the post was written, when I tested the program by jiggling the laptop the dialog box didn't appear. This means that when I clicked on the program in the Start Menu, the dialog box appeared, but showed up all grayed out. To see if the poster's statement holds true, I found the executable file for the Toshiba 3D Animation that shows a hard drive spinning. I clicked on it and jiggled the laptop to see if it registered on the spinning drive animation. It did, but the drive didn't stop spinning no matter how much I jiggled. When the program is working, the drive in the animation stops spinning momentarily and then resumes spinning. The animation was mimicking my jiggling in every direction, as expected, but it never stopped spinning. Logically, this would indicate that the drive never stopped spinning, and that there was no protection against a head to platter collision. I was not convinced that the program was NOT working, and I wanted to prove that the poster was right. So I started an AVG virus scan, jiggled the unit and observed the progression of the files being scanned. When I kept the jiggling steady, the scanning paused until I stopped the jiggling. Scanning resumed normally at this point. This was encouraging. To further convince myself that the drive stopped spinning, I started an Ultimate Defrag. defragmentation, watching for a pause in file movement when I jiggled steadily. As in the case of AVG, the file movement paused when I was jiggling the unit. So although there is no indication from Toshiba that their HDD Protection program stops the drive from spinning when the dialog box is grayed out, it is clear that it does so when watching dynamic programs pausing as soon as the shock sensor detects motion. I am impressed that the poster knew this undocumented fact, and I thank the poster for easing my mind about the way the feature operates. Since the dialog box gives the user the choice of shock sensitivity, what do you suppose is the sensitivity level of the program since the user no longer has control of it when the dialog box is greyed out?
  4. Lamb0 and Kdawgca, I'm reasonably sure that an automatic firmware update was the cause of the surprise router reset on 9/22, which was followed by a return to default settings and a router reboot. Verizon "probably" had nothing to do with it. Below is what preceded the reset.... The day before the event, I was tweaking the router's settings on it's webpage. I saw the firmware update feature and noticed that the router's firmware version was more recent than the latest ActionTec version listed on the page. I've seen manufacturers avoid posting their most current update for the general public, while at the same time incorporating it in a very recently manufactured device. Lo and behold, the router's label showed the latest update, while the page showed a previous one as the most recent one. I was confused, so I mistakenly "forced" the update to the previous version. In addition, I changed the method of incorporating updates, from not checking for them to checking automatically but taking no action. In this case, an email was to be sent to me. I received no email at any point. It's clear that I should not have reverted back to a previous update version, although everything worked the same with either version. At the time of the event, the router must have checked the ActionTec website, found the latest firmware version and updated it. Checking the router website after the event, I found that the latest version is indeed being used as it was before I intervened. I also recall that each time I manually reset the router, all of my custom settings were lost and the default settings took their place. I didn't notice the ability to save my custom settings to a text file, until recently. In the future, I will save to a file before I do a reset. A reset is sometimes the only way to return a non-responsive router to working order. But the end result is the same as when the router is first attached to a pc system.....the use of it's default settings. Naturally, I disabled the "automatic update check" feature, allowing me to see whether they posted an update and if so, choosing the time to install the update when it will have the least amount of impact on me. In this way, I won't be surprised! By the way, my initial call to Verizon tech. support was to get a solution to a problem that has plagued me since my July 3rd FiOS installation, but not during the time I was using a DSL modem with the Linksys router. When I logoff, restart, return from hibernate or from a shut down, the laptop's wireless adapter detects the router's broadcasting of my network within seconds. But when I go to sleep mode via the power button or via the Start Menu and return to the desktop, the acquisition of my network connection is delayed by almost a minute. It finds my network, but can't seem to connect to it quickly. Even when I manually force the connection, I still had to wait. I tried many things with the Verizon tech., and nothing worked. Then I started thinking of the many settings for the laptop's wireless adapter, and came upon something I'd seen countless times. In the Power Management tab was this check box "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power." I've always kept it unchecked, because I usually use my laptop in bed with the battery pack removed to enhance it's lifespan. As illogical as it seemed to me at the time, I checked the box and went into sleep mode. When I returned to the desktop, the laptop connected to the network within 1 or 2 seconds. Being a skeptic, I repeated the test a few more times and the result was the same every time. THAT issue has been resolved, although I don't know why allowing the wireless adapter to be turned off would be the solution. I'm thinking that this feature never entered the mind of the tech., since he didn't see the properties page of the wireless adapter, as I did. This mystery seems to be solved.....
  5. I've had a few incidents where the latest version of the program disabled. I'm thinking that one of the following actions may have something to do with this: 1. As a result of my many attempts to solve a problem where returning from sleep mode delays the connection of the wireless adapter to the wireless router by 50 sec. or more, I was placing the laptop in sleep mode much more often than ever before after I made a change to some aspect of the wireless adapter's or wireless router's configuration. This problem is solved. But I wonder if this represented excessive use of the sleep feature, and could cause the HDD protection program or built-in motion sensor to disable? By the way, I've been entering sleep mode via the OS's Start Menu Sleep option as well as the laptop's power button, which I've delegated as a sleep button in the Win 7 Control Panel Power Options applet. 2. My usual method of giving the laptop a rest when I know I won't be using it for at least 5 hours, is by entering hibernate mode. Can the HDD protection program or motion sensor be failing after I return to desktop? 3. I use my laptop in bed, with it sitting on top of the cardboard box in which it was packed. The box sits directly on one of two twin size mattresses, situated side by side without any space. I "slide" the box across the sheets from mattress to mattress on a regular basis. During the colder months here in NYC, I use a quilted blanket that sometimes comes into contact with the laptop. I'm wondering if the movement of the box on the sheets, or the contact between the laptop and the blanket, can cause my problem by way of static electricity? I've never felt, heard or seen any sparks. Can the motion sensor with which the program works, be incapacitated by static electricity? When I reinstall the program after it's disabled, I have to do a restart to enable the feature. It always works after a restart. 4. From the very beginning of ownership, I've been using a dry microfiber cloth to keep the display and keyboard free from an accumulation of dust and fingerprints. I wipe them down before I close the lid and after I open it. Sometimes I will open the cloth, grab it by 2 sides and slap it a few times over the top of the keyboard to force dust from under the keys, this done ONLY when the unit is in sleep mode or hibernate mode. Recall that I'm in a bed when I take this action. Can my maintenance with the cloth introduce static to the laptop? The laptop is always connected to the 2 prong power supply, because I removed the battery pack to be used only when it is mobile. Therefore, the unit "should be" grounded to the building at all times. I must admit that I forget to check the program each time I return from sleep mode, hibernate mode, shut down or after I finish using the cloth. My problem is that I'm always expecting the program to continue working. This has proved to be a mistake! Any ideas?
  6. Even if he could, without my permission via a handover of control, it wouldn't serve any purpose since I already told him I've done many hard resets on the router to solve another problem laptop/router communication issue.
  7. Thank you for the transfer rate calculation method. Can the potential total maximum deliverable transfer rate be observed while viewing the progress of a Firefox browser download within the Download Manager box? The unit of data transfer is KB/sec or MB/sec. If it can, then I can always multiply the observed number by 8 to get back to the ISP's standard transfer rates. My Verizon FiOS service delivers 50/35. 2 pcs would be working off the router, at the very most.
  8. What I'm about to write should be put under the heading "The X-Files", it's that mysterious..... I've been fine tuning my Verizon FiOS/Actiontec router via it's webpage for the last few weeks, trying to squeeze out a few more Mbps of download speed for my laptop. In fact, yesterday I was on the phone with a tech. at a Verizon FiOS Support Center for over 2 hours, feverishly taking notes of what the 30 year veteran pc nerd was speaking on the subject of wireless communications. The guy was a wealth of information. Anyway, last night I was minding my own business with my laptop, enjoying another stable connection with the router, when all of a sudden my Firefox browser stopped working. I looked at the wireless connection icon in the system tray, and noticed that it had displayed a yellow warning symbol, meaning that there was no internet connection even though many were available. When I clicked on the icon, I was surprised to see that the network name/SSID code that I changed after my last router reset, reverted back to the default network name/SSID code on the back of the router. You all know that this is not possible, with only Thunderbird and Firefox being open. Either a hard reset at the back of the router or a Restore Defaults command at the router's webpage can initiate such a drastic action. Let it be known that the internet connection was re-established to the factory default settings, within a few seconds of the event. To confirm what I saw, I opened the router's webpage. Sure enough, every setting that I remember manually changing was back to the default setting. My desktop pc uses the same router with an ethernet connection, and everything is fine with it. To further investigate, I switched from my FiOS connection to the Cablevision modem connection (with wireless router attached) of my next door neighbor, and it worked as always. This eliminated my laptop as the problem. Does anybody have any thoughts on this event? While on the subject, can anybody suggest a Wi-Fi monitoring program that will show me everything I need to know about my network and the many others around me, so that I can fine tune the router for better performance? I've been using InSSIDer since Aug. 2009, and it's lacking a few parameters that would be helpful to me.
  9. Lenovo should call the 2nd adapter option "free-er than free", because it is a step up from their free generic adapter. Marketing is a strange animal. Based on the 1 x 1, 2 x 2 and 3 x 3 charts, which I was not able to include in this post to my dismay, I can see that my FiOS/Actiontec router is performing like a 1 x 1 and a 2 x 2 device. The speed varies between 65 Mbps and 130 Mbps, as seen in the Wireless Network Connection Status dialog box after connecting to a network. It spends more time at the 65 rate, though. I'm sure that it will stay on 130 when I bring the laptop into the room where the router is perched. But I'm still surprised that the signal varies at all, being that 1 wall/8 feet separate laptop from router. From Wikipedia..... "MIMO technology has attracted attention in wireless communications, because it offers significant increases in data throughput and link range without additional bandwidth or increased transmit power. It achieves this goal by spreading the same total transmit power over the antennas to achieve an array gain that improves the spectral efficiency (more bits per second per hertz of bandwidth) or to achieve a diversity gain that improves the link reliability (reduced fading). Because of these properties, MIMO is an important part of modern wireless communication standards such as IEEE 802.11n (Wi-Fi), 4G, 3GPP Long Term Evolution, WiMAX and HSPA+." Indeed, the issues I'm having with my neighbor's network connection are "range" related, so a 3 x 3 adapter will not guarantee me any success. I'll have to be satisfied with the 2/2 speeds I'm getting, compared to the 15/2 speeds Cablevision is delivering to the modem.
  10. Addendum: I had a few more unpredictable failures. But ever since I downloaded the Windows 8 (64 bit) version from Toshiba and installed it, all has been well. Recall that my OS is Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit). I wonder why it's working?
  11. Perhaps you missed that this adapter Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2200 (2x2 BGN) is a free upgrade. Aren't 2 antennas better than 1? Good idea to tweak the router's configuration settings. I've tweaked them before, but never when it's physical location ISN'T in my apartment. I'll have to bother my neighbor if it refuses to function after I change a setting. This is a minor inconvenience for both of us. Any improvement in performance I realize will also be an improvement for her! Thank you for your other advice on laptop purchasing price.
  12. I've been configuring a Lenovo T530. I'm not sure which one of the 4 wireless LAN adapters I should select. These are the ones offered by Lenovo: Thinkpad 1 x 1 b/g/n Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2200 (2x2 BGN) - no price added Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 AGN - add $20.00 Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN - add $40.00 The last one has a 3 x 3 antenna system. I have a "situation" that may require the 3 x 3 unit. My next door neighbor has Cablevision internet service, with a non-wireless cable modem. I've lent her my Linksys E2000 wireless router, since Cablevision cable modems only use ethernet connections to pcs. The room in which I am using my laptop is separated from the router by 4 drywall walls. The 23 story building was erected in 1964. She has allowed me access to her network connection. I'm finding that I don't get anywhere near her 15/2 transfer rate pairing from my apartment. Both of our laptops achieve the 15/2 rates when in her apartment and 8 feet from the router. In my apartment, when I move the laptop to a room where there is only one wall between it and the router, I achieve the 15/2 transfer rates. By the way, I have my own wireless network connection from Verizon FiOS. The modem/router is separated from my laptop by one wall. My FiOS speeds are 50/25, but at times I've been able to get 58/40. I need her Cablevision connection, for those times when I'm using my FiOS connection to download many files to my desktop, and i want to continue to use my laptop without it crawling along. Being the most elaborate one, does anybody think that the 3 x 3 adapter will solve my problem?
  13. A Lenovo rep. on the phone told me that the latest crop of models for 2012 are already out. This means that I either live with the current technology and snatch up a laptop, or wait until the spring/summer of 2013. There is no pressing need for me to buy now another laptop now anyway. My Toshiba purrs along. Funny you should mention the right CTRL key. That is the one I use most of the time, because I can't reach the zero, minus and plus keys from the left CTRL key with one hand. The right CTRL key works fine for me.
  14. I find that every industry fixes things that are not broken, for the sake of dazzling their consumer base with seemingly new products with seemingly new features that will send them running to buy their goods. I'm not sure if the keyboard was revised for practical or salesmanship motives. So far, I'm happy with all aspects of the T530. I read the entire thread at your link, and wonder why the original poster didn't take Lenovo to the small claims court in Holland to get his laptop repaired or replaced. He obviously had a good case to beat Lenovo at it's own game. OK, Lenovo's customer service is not perfect. Once liability is reasonably established outside the court system, a company can be challenged in court. The laptop owner would have won the case! I always inspect a new device before I term it perfect from the factory. Once I find a defect before I get to use it, the company is summoned ASAP. My heart goes out to all of us who have recived a lemon, never having the chance to enjoy their purchase. Even a used Toughbook would be "tough" on my budget. I'll stick with laptops close to $1,000, sales tax included. But I admire the company's emphasis on the human engineering aspect. I'm just the right guy to "advertise" the shortcomings of a company who doesn't fulfill their promise fof proper customer support. The more the negative PR, the faster the company will realize that they work for their customers, and not the other way around. It's a shame that these tactics must be used to maintain fair treatment. There are many options to getting a price down. I'll have to visit them. When do the next generation of laptops appear, causing last year's models to drop in price? Thanks for the DPI change tutorial link. Not to worry about my eyeballs. I'm very nearsighted and somewhat presbyopic due to my age. My eyeglasses are single vision, so the only correction for presbyopia is larger fonts, or a cheap pair of reading glasses to avoid the entire problem. My display's resolution is 1366 x 768 alright. No need to swap the Fn and Ctrl keys. The Ctrl key with the plus or minus key, will zoom in or zoom out of any browser page. Ctrl - 0 will return the page to it's default size.
  15. I've been considering only the T530, because it is the only Lenovo business series laptop with a screen larger than 14". My fascination with Thinkpads is with their construction and durability, and not light weight or small size geared for mobility. It won't be ported much. I'm going to read the entire users guide, to see what features it sports. I'm looking for a retail store where I can see a demo and give it a workout.I read the T430 review you linked me to, in it's entirety. Very impressive for the most part. Can you tell me why there is so much discontent with the new style of "chiclet" keys among avid longtime Thinkpad users? My Toshiba laptop has keys that sit on top of a flat panel, with air separating one from another. The keys don't sit inside of a plastic cutout like on most keyboards, peeking out enough to be useful. This is my first laptop, so what do I know! The sterling reputation of the Thinkpad series, has currently impressed me enough NOT to consider even the better business series laptops from Dell, HP and Toshiba. Yes, I'm sure that I want a screen similar in size to my Toshiba laptop, 15.6". Even at this size, I find that I have to magnify fonts via the mouse and Ctrl key, and do vertical scrolling too often. Mobility is not a big thing for me. It will be used for entertainment and hobby purposes. I never used the trackpoint feature. I'm sure I can easily ignore it's presence! No gaming use at all. Mostly downloading videos, films and music clips and browsing the internet. You're probably thinking that the T530 is overkill, based on my planned use. But I like robust construction in all my devices, especially the ones that house delicate electronics and moving parts